I have spent the most of my childhood life living back and forth with my parents and grandparents. Luckily, both of my grandmothers are very good cooks. Growing up I got to learn from my father’s mother too cook picante, spicy, meat based village style Serbian food using organic products from their farm production (that they still have today in central Serbia). My grandma’ makes the best chicken soup in the world: I always ask for more! My mum’s mother suffered from a heart; therefore, she taught me to prepare more diet, healthy food- using a lot of veggies and milk products. Her specialty is home made yoghurt. Love that one! While still a baby, I was wondering around my grandmothers’ feet while they were cooking and used to smell the tempting aromas of home made kitchen. From far back then I learned the importance of home made cooking for health. My grandma’ always used to say to me: “The health comes from the spoon”, and there is nothing more true than that. These memories affected my cooking and life style forever.
I remember my first cooking experience all the way back in high school when needing a brake from studying. I used the vegetables left in the refrigerator. It was my first home made veggie soup. And I liked it. Soon enough I started cooking for all family. I like experimenting with food and recipes I already know. With the help of my grandmothers by the time of university, I mastered basics of Serbian kitchen.
During my University studies of Italian language and literature I felt the need to learn about Italian kitchen, too. Italy is quite close to Serbia both geographically and historically speaking. My many travels to Italy made me build the sharp taste of this great cuisine.
Somewhere in the mid of my studies, I happened to meet my husband. I remember him asking me to make moussaka, and I remember very well his disappointment when I presented him something that we call in Serbia moussaka, which in Greece definitely is not the case. Step by step I learned Greek language and with the help of his loving mother, I came to the point to prepare some Greek dishes in a very traditional way. My common travels to Greece made me a big fan of healthy Mediterranean kitchen: olive oil, feta cheese, fish, dill and sweets made of honey, almonds, nuts, cinnamon…
Soon enough came our moving to Japan. This country brought another dimension to my cooking. Most of all, I learned that arrangement and serving of the food is as important as its taste. Also, I strengthened myself in believing in healthy food’s importance. Indeed, international atmosphere of Tokyo and cooking for people of different nationalities made me become more objective on the taste of food I make: Serbian and Mediterranean.
Here I became very curious about Asian kitchen, very simple but excellently combined to serve a full healthy meal. For the opportunity to learn home made Japanese dishes I owe thanx to my friend Yumiko and her mother from Fukuoka. Without her maybe, my understanding of Japan would be rather superficial.
The most important thing of all, I think is, to cook from the heart, as you do anything good in your life. You can certainly feel emotions in the food and you can certainly show emotions using food. I am happy to bring exotic Balkan and Mediterranean taste to Japan. You will feel the Balkan heart in it, and certainly feel my own. Welcome!